A journey worth taking
KARACHI: A two-day exhibition of Shafqat Hussain Wadho’s paintings began at the Arts Council’s Ahmed Pervaiz Gallery on Thursday evening.
It is evident from the artworks put on display that Shafqat Hussain is man who has deep affinity with nature. But nature to him is a broad term. It also involves moral and aesthetic values that are an integral part of the region he comes from. Therefore, nature and the evolution of man feature prominently in his art.
This can be gauged from an exhibit titled ‘Soulless Struggle of a Nation’ (oil on canvas). Don’t be misled by the pedestrianism of the title. The artist is trying to drive a difficult point home with a seemingly plain assertion. It’s the painting which is quite striking. The setting is of an old place, as old as the hills. What makes it interesting to view is the figures that are on the pathway; they are skeletal creatures. This implies that those who are headed in an unknown direction are devoid of bodies, whereas the word ‘soulless’ is key to the name of the artwork. Intriguing stuff!
In another piece, Shafqat Hussain sings praises to nature in the lower register. He creates a tranquil valley. The picture in itself is worth watching but the flowers blooming outside a brick house on one side of the image add an aesthetic richness to the painting that turns reality into a fairytale, more believable than reality.
The tribute to Manchhar Lake is another example where the viewer can’t help but appreciate the artist’s gifted imagination. It appears that sunbeams and the lake are age-old friends that know each other’s secrets.
A book titled ‘Eternal Journey of Life through Paintings’ on the life and work of the artist too was launched on the occasion.